Global food insecurity has worsened in recent years as a result of the food price spike followed by the financial and economic crisis. Patterns of food insecurity are changing too because of more extreme natural disasters, the persistence of conflict in some countries and annual large scale emergencies. Many countries are suffering protracted food emergencies. At the same time the nature of the international response has changed. Most donors have shifted from providing in-kind food aid to funding local and regional procurement, and cash transfers have increased too as part of a broad shift from food aid to “food assistance”. Beyond a grand commitment to doing more about food security, the Aquila Declaration, there is no agreement on specifics – such as a definition of what food assistance is, or the nature of a new food security architecture, and what should replace the Food Aid Convention due to expire in 2011.
This event presents the findings of a review of changes in food aid and food assistance policies and strategies carried out between January and May 2010 for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The speakers will highlight the key findings and issues of broader relevance arising from this study, and more specifically argue for a wider and more open discussion on the future of the Food Aid Convention.